The Belgian company Cartamundi has signed a purchase agreement for the US playing card manufacturer United States Playing Card Company. This is another building block in the company’s global expansion plans.

The playing-card market is dominated by a few large companies. The Belgian group Cartamundi is one of the top players. The group includes the brands ASS Altenburger, Grimaud, Eagle and Copag. The internationally active manufacturer is now further expanding its position. Cartamundi has bought the United States Playing Card Company (USPC). USPC previously belonged to the parent company Newell Brands. The United States Playing Card Company owns brands such as Bicycle, Bee, Hoyle and Fournier. The focus of the toy manufacturer is on North America and Spain. The company employs over 350 people and has production facilities in Kentucky and the Spanish city of Vitoria. In 2018, USPC generated net sales of approximately $112 million.

How large will the new Cartamundi Group be?

Cartamundi Managing Director Stefaan Merckx: “We look forward to this opportunity and to welcoming the United States Playing Card Company to the Cartamundi Group. USPC is a globally recognized company and, like us, has a passion for its products and consumers. The areas in which USPC is active complement each other perfectly with those of Cartamundi. This investment will further realize Cartamundi’s commitment to share the magic of playing together with consumers around the world”. Cartamundi wants to expand its geographic reach with new countries and new channels. The proposed acquisition is a logical step forward as USPC is a strong player in the growing cardistry, casino and specialty card segments. The combined company will employ 2,500 people and operate 13 manufacturing facilities on four continents.

Merckx is new Managing Director

Michael Slaughter, CEO of USPC: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Cartamundi and leverage the rich history and passion of both companies in card manufacturing, as well as our complementary global presence. We look forward to continuing to work together to excite consumers around the world. “The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. For Cartamundi Managing Director Merckx, a successful acquisition is likely to be a milestone. After all, the 44-year-old has only been managing director of the Group for just under nine months. Previously, he had spent most of his career with Vandemoortele. In the end, he headed the bakery products department with 4,200 employees and sales of approximately 900 million euros.

Record year for Cartamundi subsidiary ASS Altenburger

Card games are currently enjoying great popularity. An increase in sales of five percent to 102 million Euro is expected for Germany this year. The company subsidiary ASS Altenburger also benefited from this recently. Last year, it reported sales of just over 30 million euros. With a volume increase of seven percent in card production and 42 percent in complete games production, 2018 was a record year for the company.


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Link: The Cartamundi Group strengthens its international business through acquisition.

Image: Cartamundi